Huntington Bancshares, as part of a restructuring, said it has sold 59 properties it occupies and will now lease them.
The company said it will get $182 million from the sale, which it will use to pay short-term debt. Analyst Joseph Duwan of Keefe said the switch could add 1 or 2 cents to this quarter's earnings.
The properties include bank branches, operations centers, and other facilities. The company entered into long-term leases, which it said would allow it to control its use of spaces.
Though the move may not have a big effect on the bottom line, analyst Mr. Duwan said it was an innovative way to make better use of the company's capital. "They're taking a non-earning real estate asset and turning it into cash," Mr. Duwan said.
The plan is part of a restructuring announced in October, in which the company hopes to add $125 million to annual profits by 1999. Excluding a $90 million restructuring charge, Huntington is expected to earn 43 cents per share in the fourth quarter.